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Kansas vs. Baylor: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Kansas at Baylor

Here is everything you need to know about the regular season finale between Baylor and Kansas.

Game Info

2:30 p.m. CT, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, Kans.

TV: ESPN (Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman)

Away Radio: Baylor Sports Network, Sirius 138/XM 199/Internet 953 (John Morris, J.J. Joe, Ricky Thompson) 

Home Radio: Jayhawk Radio Network, Sirius 98/XM 200/Internet 954 (Brian, Hanni, Josh Klingler, Steve Kincaid)

Baylor Head Coach:  Matt Rhule (18-18 at Baylor, 46-41 overall)

Kansas Head Coach: Les Miles (3-8 at Kansas, 145-63 overall)

Series History: Baylor leads 14-4. The Bears are on a 9-game win streak dating back to Oct. 13, 2007. Mark Mangino took the Jayhawks to an Orange Bowl Championship. Guy Morriss was in his final season as Baylor head coach.

Series in Lawrence: Baylor leads 5-4.

Opening Line: Baylor -14

Moneyline: Baylor -769/+505

Over/Under: 35

Fun Facts: Les Miles is 4-0 against Baylor. Matt Rhule is 2-0 against Kansas. One coach is guaranteed his first loss against the other.

 

Key Players

Baylor

WR Denzel Mims

Mims is 108 yards away from 1,000 receiving yards on the season. He’s a senior. The College Football Playoff is a bit of a long shot. However, a trip to a New Year’s Six Bowl would be an excellent way to place a feather in his cap for the time he spent at Baylor. He’s been through the darkness and the rubble. He’s now seeing the light and it will probably wind up turning into a shot at the professional ranks. Look for Mims to have a career day knowing how close he is to that 1,000 yard mark.

CB Grayland Arnold

Arnold has five interceptions. He is tied for fifth in the nation and second in the Big 12 alongside Oklahoma State’s Kolby Harvell-Peel. Texas Tech’s Douglas Coleman leads the nation with eight. Arnold is a senior. Like Mims, he knows what’s at stake. He’s been through the rubble. When Kansas selects a pass play, they better understand where Arnold is on the field. If he goes incognito, they may see him running the other direction before it’s too late.

Kansas

RB Pooka Williams Jr.

It’s Senior Day. No. Pooka is not a senior. However, Les is an excellent motivator and coach. If Baylor gets caught looking towards their date with Oklahoma, Pooka could have a career day. Williams is going to be playing for his senior teammates. He’s also 55 yards away from a 1,000-yard rushing season. There’s plenty for Pooka to play for. Just because Kansas has no shot at a bowl doesn’t mean he won’t make some noise.

LB Mike Lee

Lee is the senior leader of this defense. The Jayhawks saw a major lack of success during his career. You’ll bet he wants to make one final memory. What better way to end Lee’s career than to spoil the New Year’s Six Bowl dreams of Baylor? Lee is the leading tackler for the Jayhawks with 69 tackles. He’ll certainly be playing to be noticed by NFL and XFL teams.

 

Key Storylines

Baylor

The Bears are in the hunt for the College Football Playoff. While the Bears are a longshot, they’re a top 10 team with one loss. Alabama plays Auburn this week. Minnesota has to play Wisconsin before meeting Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship. Michigan would love nothing more than to derail the Buckeyes’ perfect record. Utah has to play Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship. Georgia could wind up with a second loss in the SEC Championshp. All of this, and of course there is the opportunity for Baylor to gain revenge on the Sooners in the Big 12 Championship. They’re still in it. Not to mention, if they do lose to the Sooners, a victory over Kansas likely pushes Baylor into the Sugar Bowl. The Bears cannot afford to overlook this game. Kansas can beat Baylor and they will if the Bears come in thinking they have this game in the bag. This game is on Matt Rhule to get his team ready.

Kansas

It’s Senior Day. These seniors do not have many memories. Perhaps, they have more bad memories than good ones. A victory over Baylor to dismantle their College Football Playoff hopes would be an excellent way to send the seniors out. Les Miles will find some way to motivate the younger players. He’ll have his team ready. If Baylor doesn’t come ready, the Jayhawks could very well have their first 2-win season in Big 12 play since 2008.

Prediction

Baylor 56 Kansas 3

At first, I figured Kansas might score an early touchdown due to motivation for their seniors. Then I remembered how these College Football Playoff contenders typically play down the stretch. Baylor’s going to be prepared. They are awake. They are ready. They are going to enter this game as a team who could beat anybody in the nation. You could place them up against No.1 Ohio State and this team would win this week. That’s what the playoff contenders typically do in the final week of the season against unranked teams. They go in with a message to send to the College Football Playoff committee. Baylor knows they are going to receive the short end of the stick if the committee has any chance to give it to them. If Baylor destroys Kansas and upsets Oklahoma, they will have provided their fans every reason to hoot and holler at the College Football Playoff committee. And you can bet, the 2014 season will be slammed into that committee’s face. If Baylor wins out and are left out, there will be backlash.

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